First the bad news: When you become responsible for rebranding strategy, you will have your work cut out for you. It can be complicated, time-consuming, expensive, and labor intensive.
Now the good news: With some forethought and planning, it’s possible to rebrand smartly, in a way that minimizes costs and efforts and maximizes impact.
Here’s what makes the difference: Rolling out properly updated branded assets across your entire organization requires a well-thought out rebranding strategy—one that considers your specific financial, functional, and organizational realities and translates it into an achievable vision for brand transition. From that framework, everything follows.
In some ways, it’s similar to the brand strategy that informed the creative development of your new name, logo, color palette, photography guidelines, and more. The difference is that a rebranding strategy focuses on logistics rather than creative. It specifies responsibilities and costs—the who does what, when, how, and for how much money. And it’s essential to your being able to deliver on the objectives of your rebranding project.
The tenets that underlie a rebranding strategy
While the rebranding process can get complicated, especially for companies operating globally and/or having a wide array of branded touchpoints, the objective of creating a rebranding strategy to guide implementation is straightforward: Describe exactly how your branding objectives will be delivered within the time and resource constraints of the project to ensure the long-term success of your rebrand.
Your rebrand strategy needs be based on a comprehensive understanding of how the brand is deployed across the entire organization. That includes everything from signage and branded environments to fleet; marketing collateral to HR recruiting materials and administrative systems; products to legal contracts to and everywhere your brand lives digitally. Failure to account for all assets and can make or break your new brand rollout. (That’s why conducting an audit is an essential task during the early planning stages.)
Rebranding strategy questions and answers
As you put a rebrand implementation strategy and plan together, start by asking and answering these questions:
What are your rebranding project’s timeline and cost constraints?
What are the various scenarios for implementation and other decisions I need to address?
What are the implications (and risks) to the organization of deploying the various scenarios, including impact to customers, finances, and the organization as a whole?
What in-house and outside resources are available for the project?
How will we ensure that all of our objectives (quality, cost, and timing) are achieved?
An effective rebranding strategy thoroughly defines the costs, timeframes, tasks, roles, and responsibilities. To get this essential step right, companies often turn to a brand implementation partner such as BrandActive. We have the experience to rapidly and accurately answer questions like ‘how much it will cost’ and ‘how long it will take’ – as well as identify opportunities to maximize impact and reduce costs.
A winning rebranding strategy also outlines the priorities for the rollout of new assets (by market, asset category, business unit, etc.), an approach to each branded asset category for the transition (when, how, quality level), and typically a resource plan, a communications plan, and a risk mitigation plan. After the strategy is documented and approved by upper management, your brand implementation partner then works with you to create detailed project plans and often works side by side with you to achieve all your brand change objectives.
The big takeaway is this: how you implement your brand is just as important as what you implement. Get off on the right foot with a rebranding strategy, and you’ll be on your way to consistent, high-quality, and cost-effective brand change.